Assemblyman Al Stirpe (D-Cicero) announced he helped pass a number of measures to provide greater assistance, protection and justice to victims of domestic violence across New York State. The legislation reflects the Assembly’s commitment to combating domestic violence and providing victims with the necessary tools to move forward with their lives.
“Domestic violence has affected our communities for far too long,” said Stirpe. “We have an obligation to create a safe and supportive environment to empower victims of domestic violence as they heal. We must help them break their silence and provide the resources needed to protect themselves and their families.”
The measures would make it easier for victims of domestic violence to seek justice by requiring accessible translation, as well as clear explanation, of court orders and orders of protection (A.162, A.9628). Furthermore, the legislation would prevent employers from firing or discriminating against an employee who has been a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking and ensure that victims of domestic violence can access proper resources when they visit a hospital (A.272-A, A.1232-A).
The legislation would also help victims of domestic violence by:
- requiring healthcare providers to allow victims of domestic violence with the option to provide alternative contact information in cases of an emergency (A.1358);
- allowing victims to recover non-economic damages from any or all defendants found liable for failure to obey or enforce domestic violence orders of protection or temporary orders of protection (A.260);
- allowing judges expanded discretion in sentencing defendants who are victims of domestic violence where the abuse was a significant factor in the commission of an offense (A.4409-B);
- requiring companies to allow victims of domestic violence to opt out of shared or long-term contracts without incurring any penalties (A.326-A, A.274-A,); and
- closing loopholes to take guns out of the hands of abusers and protect the lives of victims and their families (A.5257, A.6340).
Victims of domestic violence and sexual assault can seek help or assistance 24 hours a day by calling Vera House at315-468-3260 or New York’s toll-free hotline at 1-800-942-6906. For further information, visit Vera House’s website atwww.verahouse.org, the New York State Office of Victim Services’ website at ovs.ny.gov or the New York State Office for the Prevention of Domestic Violence website at opdv.ny.gov.